North America catching up with Europe in IR app adoption
PR Newswire has entered the growing market for investor relations apps through a partnership with theIRapp, a provider of mobile apps for publicly traded companies.
Under the agreement, theIRapp will provide an app for customers of PR Newswire’s investor relations website product, allowing clients to update their website and app simultaneously.
The app – named the IR Room App – will be available to download through Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Market. Like other apps powered by theIRapp, its features include push notifications for investors, SEC filings, video streaming and more.
The number of companies providing IR apps to investors has grown steadily over the last two years, although the North American market has been slower to catch on than Europe. Nestlé first launched an app in late 2010, followed by UK retailer Marks and Spencer, SAP and dozens more the following year.
North America has been catching up in 2012. Q4 Web Systems, the Toronto-based IR website developer, launched apps in January for Avion Gold Corporation and Stanley Black & Decker.
TheIRapp, co-founded by Jeff Corbin, has produced more than a dozen apps on its own for companies like Marathon Oil and Campbell's Soup, as well as partnering with MessageBank and InvestorIdeas.com to work with them on mobile products.
Corbin describes the partnership between theIRapp and PR Newswire as a ‘wake-up call’ to the investor relations market about the importance of mobile. ‘Do you think this is just a short-played phenomenon? he tells IR Magazine. ‘I don’t. I think there is a real role for apps in communications in numerous ways, and just like you have IR websites, now there are apps.’
Addressing the question of whether investors would want dozens of apps for different companies on their phone or tablet, Corbin says an app aggregator would be useful. ‘There probably is a need for a master apps solution that allows people to aggregate all this content,’ he says. ‘It’s something that’s being considered.’